Just bought a house with a pool, need help

Ryanh1801

Active member
Jul 30, 2010
28
Just closed on a house with a in ground 15K pool and hot tub. A little history on the pool. The house has been empty for 8 months, no one has been in the pool and the owner used a pool company to maintain the pool who only kept the chemicals in line, did not clean or anything else. The pool is about 25 years old and is gunite with the original finish. A pool inspector told me all the equipment was in good order and that the pool was going to need a new surface in the next couple of years. Yesterday I tested the FC and PH with my trouble free test kit. the FC was 15 and ph was 7.1. the pool was clear. Well I got in the pool and noticed a white substance coming off the wall when I touched it causing the pool to get cloudy. Fast forward to today. I did a complete run down on the pool with the following results.
FC-14
ph-7.1
TA-80
CH-500
CYA-50

Well I added some soda ash to bring the PH up, I hit 7.5 later on in the day but the pool became very cloudy. So I took the cartridge filter apart and it was pretty dirty so I washed it up and continued running the pump. Then went to scrubbing the sides of the pool to get the white powdery substance off. (Which I believe is calcium). Now the pool is a complete mess, its very very cloudy and does not seem to be clearing up. Just wondering with that high of a calcium level is it going to clear? What am I going to have to do to bring the level down? I have read that I may need to drain part of the pool, but I am clueless on how to even go about doing that. I left the pump running tonight in hopes it might help, but I guess I will see in the morning as I have no moved in yet.

Thanks for any info, just wanting a clear pool to enjoy this last part of summer. Sorry for such a long first post.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,471
SW Indiana
Welcome to TFP.

With a CH of 500ppm and a low pH, I suspect that the white stuff is something other than calcium. Chalking paint or deteriorated plaster are possibilities.

You'll want to leave the pump running 24/7 until things clear.

I'd plan on at least one new cartridge for the filter. How is your pressure reading and flow through the returns?
 

lightingguy

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 17, 2010
513
Glendale, CA
We had an annoying calcium clouding issue but our numbers were significantly worse at the time -

CH 1100
TA 260
Ph High 7's, low 8's

We were also using a lot Cal-Hypo to shock the pool - CYA 120.

We've been crystal clear with
CH 1100
TA 90 ish
PH 7.2 - 7.5

Give it some time. It's impossible to tell what's been going into the pool during that 8 months. With FC 14 you'd expect the maintenance company has been a little heavy handed with the chems.
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
Sounds like your filter needs to be cleaned (again...)! With cloudy water, any filter will fill up pretty quickly.

I think the stuff coming off the walls could be calcium scale; if the pool had higher pH under the previous owners, it could have lots of scale that's started to crumble a little bit. Pictures of the surface could help nail that down.

What's the CH of your fill water? If it's reasonably low, I'd do a partial drain and refill to get the level down (assuming water's not terribly expensive). How much to drain depends on the CH of the fill water.
 

Ryanh1801

Active member
Jul 30, 2010
28
lightingguy said:
We had an annoying calcium clouding issue but our numbers were significantly worse at the time -

CH 1100
TA 260
Ph High 7's, low 8's

We were also using a lot Cal-Hypo to shock the pool - CYA 120.

We've been crystal clear with
CH 1100
TA 90 ish
PH 7.2 - 7.5

Give it some time. It's impossible to tell what's been going into the pool during that 8 months. With FC 14 you'd expect the maintenance company has been a little heavy handed with the chems.
Thats good to know. I forgot to say But the pool has been painted, so I guess that could be that also.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,396
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
It could be plaster rotting, or paint dissolving, or possibly calcium. My brother-in-law painted his pool last year and says that he gets calcium on the surface that rubs off and makes it cloudy when anyone swims. I personally haven't seen it, nor tested his water..heh,heh,heh.

Just remember, it didn't all get there overnight, it won't all go away overnight, either. I'd keep the pH sorta low and brush it a lot. Also make sure the main drain is flowing; as you stir stuff up and brush things towards the bottom, you want it to go somewhere. I'd also get a new cartridge, just so I had a clean-pressure baseline with the new house. You don't even know if your gauge is accurate, yet!
 

Ryanh1801

Active member
Jul 30, 2010
28
Richard320 said:
It could be plaster rotting, or paint dissolving, or possibly calcium. My brother-in-law painted his pool last year and says that he gets calcium on the surface that rubs off and makes it cloudy when anyone swims. I personally haven't seen it, nor tested his water..heh,heh,heh.

Just remember, it didn't all get there overnight, it won't all go away overnight, either. I'd keep the pH sorta low and brush it a lot. Also make sure the main drain is flowing; as you stir stuff up and brush things towards the bottom, you want it to go somewhere. I'd also get a new cartridge, just so I had a clean-pressure baseline with the new house. You don't even know if your gauge is accurate, yet!
What kind of PH would you shoot for? Also how do I go about checking the gauge?


Thanks so much everyone!!!
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
Here is a thread about a painted concrete pool that was having similar issues - I recommend you read the thread and see if you can garner any info from that, if it helps any...

concrete-pool-milky-water-t11780.html

TA can be from 60-120, depending on your pools features and source of chlorine. Tablets - high end, SWG with water features - low end of the range.

Hope this helps.
 

geekgranny

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 20, 2009
1,358
North Central Texas
Welcome to TFP. :wave:

Just want to give you a word of encouragement. POP (pool owner patience) goes a long way to help one get through pool issues. I had a situation over the winter, as I was treating the pool for slow release of calcium scale. When I got my new pump and big filter in I expected the clouding to clear really fast. It took over two weeks with lots of cleanings of the filter and reminders from the great folks here to practice POP. It eventually cleared and has been sparkly and perfect ever since.

gg=alice
 

Ryanh1801

Active member
Jul 30, 2010
28
Well little up date. this morning the pool was some what clear. then I Cleaned the filter's and they where covered in white powder. Vacuumed the bottom of the pool. Pool was still somewhat clear. (When I say some what I could see the deep end bottom of the pool) Then I started scrubbing again and the whole pool got very cloudy again and could not see more than 12 inch into the pool. After running the pump all day its still this cloudy. Im guessing Im just going to have to keep this process up until I can get it clear. Tested the water again and all the results where about the same as yesterday.

One thing Im starting to wonder is if my bottom pool drain is working. When I have the valve on the spa only the pressure jumps up to 12 psi. When I move it over to the pool only its only at 6 psi. Is this normal? Also when I was vacuuming out the pool the spa became very cloudy, what could be causing this?

Sorry for all the questions just trying to figure all this stuff out.